SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ)
A group of medical researchers in Scottsdale are giving some pancreatic cancer patients a second lease on life.
They've been working on a clinical trial that is showing some very promising signs.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cancer death in the United States, but a group of brilliant cancer researchers at Honor Health in Scottsdale are making huge strides in finding a cure for this horrible disease.
"Scared, more scared than anything else, and it is surreal," said Saundra Demey Forrest.
That was Saundra's reaction in February when she was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. The cancer had spread to her liver and doctors gave her only 3-6 months to live.
"So pretty much they both told me to go home and get your affairs in order, and I thought to myself, there has got to be another way," she said.
That's when a quick Google search led her to Honor Health in Scottsdale, and a clinical trial for individuals diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.
"I had hope, I immediately felt like I was going to be someplace that was going to take care of me," said Saundra.
Since February, Saundra is making remarkable progress, her tumor shrunk dramatically. Gayle Jemeson is an association investigator nurse practitioner.
"We really think we're on to something that can offer the knockout punch, we don't know that this could be the cure, but we think it is one step closer," said Gayle Jameson.
Years of research into the biology of cancer cells have led the team of investigators this far.
"We chose to target this sense of vulnerability in these cells with adding a drug called Cisplatin," said Jameson.
8/10 people in the trial have all shown favorable results, and for the first time in a long time, Saundra says she is hopeful for the future.
"I now have a vision of a cure, I now have hope I'm going to live, and I'm not afraid," said Saundra.
The clinical trial now has 22 open positions for those diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.
For more information contact an oncology nurse navigator at 480-323-1339 or 877-273-3713, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.